From ‘IT’ to ‘Hereditary’ – 8 Ways to Scare Yourself with Showmax This Halloween

We’re setting up for a week of tricks and treats, whether you’re going to be indoors or strolling the streets knocking door to door, we’ve got you. For those of you looking at staying indoors, Showmax has you covered with 8 spooky movies and series that you should get have your list of Horror shows. If you’d like to trick or treat yourself to an outdoor cinema experience, Galileo Open Air Cinema has you covered. Are you brave enough?

Take a look at the list below and have a freaky week!



Based on the bestselling novel by the master of horror, Stephen King, It is the highest-grossing horror movie of all time. It tells the story of a group of bullied kids in a small Maine town in the summer of 1989, who must band together against one of horror’s most terrifying villains, Pennywise, a shape-shifting clown who preys on children.

Sophia Lillis (Sharp Objects) and Bill Skarsgård (Deadpool 2) were nominated for Teen Choice Awards as Breakout Star and Best Villain respectively, while the cast also earned a MTV Movie & TV Award for Best On-Screen Team. Look out for Finn Wolfhard (Mike from Stranger Things) as Richie.

The film has a 86% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes, where the consensus is, “Well-acted and fiendishly frightening with an emotionally affecting story at its core, It amplifies the horror in Stephen King’s classic story without losing touch with its heart.”

:: 86% critics score, Rotten Tomatoes
:: Empire Awards nominee for Best Horror 2018
:: The sequel, It: Chapter 2, is currently in cinemas




When Ellen passes away, her daughter’s family begins to unravel increasingly terrifying secrets about her life. The more they discover, the more they find themselves trying to outrun the sinister fate they seem to have inherited.

Hereditary stars Oscar nominee Toni Colette (Unbelievable) and Alex Wolff (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle), who both won 2019 Fangoria Chainsaw Awards for their roles. Golden Globe winner Gabriel Byrne (Vikings), Golden Globe nominee Ann Dowd (The Handmaid’s Tale), and Broadway child star Milly Shapiro (Matilda) co-star.

The film has a 89% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics consensus is, “Hereditary uses its classic setup as the framework for a harrowing, uncommonly unsettling horror film whose cold touch lingers long beyond the closing credits.” 

:: Winner of six Fangoria Chainsaw Awards this year, including Best Wide-Release Film and Best Kill
:: 2019 Critics Choice nominee for Best Sci-Fi/Horror Movie and Best Actress (Toni Collette)




Based on Robert Kirkman’s hit comics, The Walking Dead follows a band of survivors fighting to stay alive and find safety after the zombie apocalypse. Sheriff Rick Grimes wakes up from a coma to find his town littered with corpses and overrun with walkers, and his wife and son missing.

The show’s cast has won multiple awards over its nine seasons. Andrew Lincoln won a People’s Choice Award as Rick; Jeffrey Dean Morgan took home a Critics Choice Award as Negan; and Norman Reedus won a Fangoria Chainsaw Award as Daryl, among other honours. The series also stars Oscar nominee Samantha Morton (Harlots), People’s Choice winner Danai Gurira (Black Panther), and BAFTA nominee Lennie James, who also features in the spinoff, Fear the Walking Dead.

Season 9 has a 91% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes – its highest yet. “Nine seasons in, The Walking Dead feels more alive than ever, with heightened tension and a refreshed pace that rejuvenates this long-running franchise,” says Rotten Tomatoes’ critics consensus.

:: Best Horror TV Series, Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, 2016-2019
:: Winner of two Emmys for Prosthetic Makeup and nominated for a further 16 Emmys and a Golden Globe for Best Drama Series
:: Winner of two Critics’ Choice Awards, including Most Bingeworthy Show




The mysterious Hotel Cortez is loosely based on a real Chicago hotel built in 1893 by serial killer H. H. Holmes, which came to be known as ‘Murder Castle’. Lady Gaga, who was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar this year for A Star Is Born, won a Golden Globe as The Countess, the vampiric fashionista overseer of the hotel, which hosts a series of homicidal residents, from Holmes to ‘The Ten Commandments Killer.’

Oscar winner Kathy Bates (Misery) and Golden Globe winner Sarah Paulson (American Crime Story) were both nominated for Supporting Actress Emmys for their roles, while Wes Bentley (Interstellar) cracked a Best Actor Critics Choice nomination. Oscar nominees Angela Bassett (Black Panther), Gabourey Sidibe (EmpirePrecious), Chloë Sevigny (Boys Don’t Cry) and Mare Winningham (Mildred Pierce) also feature, alongside many more famous faces.

“For this audaciously designed anthology series, this is the most visually arresting and twisted one yet – and given the history of American Horror Story, that’s both a compliment, and a warning,” wrote NPR. The first seven seasons are available to binge on Showmax.

:: Best Limited Series nominee, Golden Globes
:: Hotel won two Emmys for Make-up and Costume and received a further six Emmy nominations




Created by Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of WaterPan’s Labyrinth), The Strain opens with a mysterious outbreak on a plane, which escalates to the entire city of New York falling prey to a viral strain of vampirism.

The Strain stars Golden Globe nominee Corey Stoll (Ant-ManHouse of Cards), BAFTA winner David Bradley (Walder Frey from Game of Thrones, Filch from Harry Potter), Oscar nominee Sean Astin (Stranger ThingsLord of the Rings), and Kevin Durand (Wolverine).

The series has an 80% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes, with BuzzFeed calling it “some of the most intense and disturbing scenes ever on television.”

:: Most Exciting New Series, Critics Choice Awards
:: Nominated for eight Saturn Awards from The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, including Best Horror TV Series




A reclusive young man with a troubled history returns to his hometown, where he must confront his demons – and everyone else’s – after being roped into an exorcism on a young boy.

Patrick Fugit (Almost FamousFull CircleGone Girl) was nominated for a Fangoria Chainsaw Award and an iHorror Award for his performance as Kyle. Created by The Walking Dead creator and comic book writer Robert Kirkman, Outcast also stars Philip Glenister (Quinn from Mad Dogs, Gene Hunt from Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes), Emmy winner Reg E Cathey (House of Cards), and Tyler Mazzei (Pen15), who earned Young Artist and Young Entertainer Award nominations for the role.

Outcast has an 80% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes. As The Telegraph put it, “Kirkman and his team have another compulsively creepy hit on their hands… This is not a show for the squeamish or the highly sensitive.”

:: Best TV Show nominee, BloodGuts UK Horror Awards
:: Scored by Oscar winner Atticus Ross (The Social Network)




Set in a fictional dreamy Latin American country, Los Espookys follows a group of friends who turn their love for horror into a peculiar business: providing on-demand horror to those who need it. This unique horror-comedy stars rising comics Julio Torres and Ana Fabrega alongside Saturday Night Live legends Fred Armisen and Lorne Michaels.

:: #10 on Rotten Tomatoes’ list of The Best TV Shows of 2019 So Far, with a 100% critics rating

:: HBO recently renewed Los Espookys for a second season



For anyone who enjoys Halloween more for the silly costumes and comedy horror than the frights, Showmax is releasing the cult-favourite vampire mockumentary series What We Do in the Shadows, from New Zealand comedy geniuses Jemaine Clement (LegionFlight of the Conchords) and Oscar nominee Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok).

This Emmy-nominated series follows a group of vampire housemates who’ve been rooming together for over a century in New York’s Staten Island – plenty of time to get on each other’s nerves. BAFTA winners Matt Berry (The IT CrowdToast of London) and Kayvan Novak (Facejacker) play Nandor the Relentless and Laszlo respectively, while Taika, Jemaine and Jonny Brugh guest, reprising their roles from the 2014 movie of the same name as Viago, Vladislav and Deacon.

Look out for cameos from many of your favourite vampires, including Evan Rachel Wood (True Blood), Danny Trejo (From Dusk Till Dawn), Wesley Snipes (Blade), Paul Reubens (Buffy The Vampire Slayer) and Oscar winner Tilda Swinton (Only Lovers Left Alive).

:: #31 on Rotten Tomatoes’ list of the Best TV Shows of 2019 So Far
:: Nominated for two 2019 Emmys, for Cinematography and Sound Editing
:: Renewed for a second season, due out next year

That should be more than enough to give you a sleepless night, but Showmax has also curated a 31 Nights Of Scares box-set for anyone who wishes Halloween was a month-long event.

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